The Goldbergs' Jeff Garlin Addresses Rumors Of Firing From The ABC Comedy

the goldbergs season 9 jeff garlin
(Image credit: ABC)

The Goldbergs has managed to hold onto most of the original cast for almost the entire run of the series so far, which is an impressive feat for a network comedy halfway through its ninth season in primetime. Rumors began to circulate earlier this year that Jeff Garlin, who plays patriarch Murray Goldberg, had been fired from the show. Now, the actor and comedian has come out and addressed the rumors following allegations about his behavior on set. 

After allegations that Jeff Garlin's behavior on the Goldbergs set made former employees feel uncomfortable, he spoke with Vanity Fair to clarify whether or not he had been let go by production company and distributor Sony. He explicitly said that he “was not fired from The Goldbergs", then later elaborated when asked if he’s trying to exit the show, saying:

No, I’m not trying to do anything. We’re trying to come to a place where we come to an agreement. Either I can behave the way [they want] or not. We’ll see, but I’m not being fired and I’ve not been fired. We’re in the middle of talking about what we’re going to do, but there will not be a firing. I will work more on The Goldbergs, just to let you know, I’m in contact with Sony. I will be shooting more days on the show. When I do shoot more days, just to make it go smooth, I will not be doing any of my silly stuff or anything, out of respect. I’m just going to keep it on the QT, because you know why? They’re my bosses. And they have every right to have the set be the way they want.

The “silly stuff” that Garlin mentions is what he referred to as saying “inappropriate, silly things on set” to have fun and keep his energy up, and not doing “general boundaries.” He further said that as a comedian, he thinks that “boundaries are meant to be broken.” A specific allegation about him is that he would hug people, and he admitted that he “puts the onus on them to say something” and didn't specifically hear anything from HR about it. And, as he very clearly said, he has not been fired from The Goldbergs, so viewers don’t have to expect to say goodbye to another character at this point in Season 9. 

He also made it clear that he’s not sure whether or not The Goldbergs will return for Season 10, saying:

I actually have no idea. Usually they would give us an idea, ‘Yeah, we’re definitely bringing you back.’ And the fact that we’re the first show of the night, and we’re very popular and we set the tone for everybody else. But we’re in a world where ABC doesn’t own the show. Sony does, they own the other shows of that night. So it’s about money and the bottom line. That’s all.

Even if The Goldbergs does end at the close of this season, a sitcom running for the better part of a decade is an impressive feat for the entire cast. And according to Jeff Garlin, he actually “didn’t want to come back” for Season 9, which would have guaranteed a very different start to the season that already had a large change to address. He explained why he initially didn’t want to return for the ninth season:

Just because I was bored. No other reason. Well, bored, and I was frustrated with the parameters that were being put on me by Sony, which they have every right to [enact]. And I have every right when I’m not under contract to decide not to come back. That’s all it was. But I love the people I work with and I didn’t want the work to end for them. So I did my part in keeping the show going, even though I would have been happy not doing the show.

Whatever the future holds for the Goldberg family and The Goldbergs as a show, Jeff Garlin is sticking around as Murray through at least the end of Season 9. Whether or not the show continues beyond the 2021-2022 TV season remains to be seen. The kids are growing up, with Erica getting married and Adam looking ahead to attending college as two particularly big events coming up. 

Only time will tell what the future holds for Jeff Garlin and The Goldbergs, but you can find both back on ABC with the midseason premiere on Wednesday, January 5 at 8 p.m. ET, ahead of The Wonder Years. Wednesdays are arguably the most competitive nights on network television, but ABC has cornered the Wednesday night market when it comes to sitcoms vs. the scripted dramas and reality offerings on other networks. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).